It’s a new year. I feel it like the deep breath of wonder as you open a new book. This year is a brand new story, with each day as a page that is written before you. That enthralls me, truly. I love how newness gives opportunity to hope again. If you’re like me, you probably entered this year with anticipation, expectation, and excitement. You probably set out with the intention to write a better story than last year, to edit out the bad pages and chapters, reconstruct the story-line, maybe even rewrite the characters. Your ambition is probably peak, motivation high, and stamina strong.
If you’re like me, you may also have a hard time sifting through the broken shards of last year’s story. You may struggle to deal with disappointment or blame yourself for things that happened. You may want to change who you are in this new novel to make yourself stronger, smarter, better…if you’re like me, your list is probably doesn’t end there.
If you’re like me, you may be choosing to hope against the taunt of fear that echoes from other volumes from this series of life. You may have set the bar high – maybe impossibly high (any other perfectionists out there?) – and decided that this is your year; your year to invest in your dreams, initiate healthier habits, break former patterns of sin, read your Bible daily, start that small group, pay off debt, become a millionaire, fill in the blank.
You may be like me, but you’re not me. I haven’t read the pages of your life. Your story, your goals, your history – they’re all unique. But I am certain that, because you are human, you have resonated with at least something I have written so far. With that, this is my benediction for you this 2018:
May you run farther than you’ve ever gone and learn to pace yourself.
May you heal from the wounds of the past and hope against reason.
May you learn to love yourself and accept where you’re at, here, in this moment.
May you appreciate the hard moments, understanding that every good story has a hero who learns endurance from hardship.
May you respond well when there’s a plot twist and trust that beauty will befall those who believe.
May you extend grace to yourself when you fall and pick yourself back up again.
May your ambition align with Christ’s and His love arrest your attention, causing every vain intention to fade in the light of His eyes.
May His will be done in your life, in all and above all.
May you find God in every day’s new page.
May you be blessed beyond comprehension.
Dear friends, this is my prayer for us all this new year. If you’re like me, you’ll probably need it.
words by Olivia Douglas and photo by Shelby Bauer